Music festivals have always fascinated me. Seeing thousands of people gather together to hear different artists and genres of music has always been so appealing. Over the summer I attended Bonnaroo, which is a music festival in Manchester, Tennessee that has around 200 different bands and artists. Such a diverse group of people attended, partly due to the diversity in the music genres, which lead to me meeting so many interesting people. It exceeded my expectations by far and I have made a promise to myself to return every year thereafter if possible. This made me think that if people in the United States loved music festivals so much if there were music festivals in other countries and if they are as popular as they are here in the U.S.
According to an article on http://www.festivalmawazine.ma/all-about-mawazine, the full name of the festival is called Mawazine Festival Rhythms of the World. The festival was first started on October 23rd, 2001 in Rabat, Morocco that lasts nine days. Initially, the festival was created to bring together many cultures around the world through music by offering music of all genres from all cultures. It also had a strong emphasis on Moroccan music. The festival invites thousands of artists from all over the world including Rihanna, The Jacksons, Elton John, Nass El Ghiwane, Karima Skalli, and many other well known artists. There are around seven sites which present about 125 shows a day. The festival has had around 2,620,000 attendees and 38 millions viewers. This festival reminded me of several music festivals that are held here in the United States because of the diverse types of music and vast amount of people that attend.
Gnaoua Music Festival
According to an article on http://www.naturallymorocco.co.uk/destinations/essaouira/gnaoua-music-festival-2014-2.html, another music festival that is held in Morocco is the Gnaoua Music Festival. This festival is held in Essaouira and this year will be it’s 15th year since it was started. This is a shorter festival than Mahawine, lasting only four days. It has a much smaller venue including two stages that have several different free artists that play throughout the festival and then it has a few other stages that hold more private concerts that tickets need to be purchased for that usually range from $10 to $15.The majority of the music played here is traditional African and Gnaoua music but sometimes alternative music is played as well. The music that is played here has a more spiritual or religious background rather than the headliners who play at the Mahawine Festival.
As much as I loved Bonnaroo, I think that traveling across the world to go to a music festival in another country would be so amazing. I was so excited to meet different types of people at Bonnaroo but I couldn’t imagine all the cultures and types of people I would be exposed to if I were able to go to one of these festivals. Music continues to fascinate me everyday and the fact that it can bring such diverse groups of people together only justifies to me that it truly is fascinating. Someplace where no one can even understand the words spoken to one another, music can bring these people together.